A lot of questions about entrepreneurship and starting an online business have been showing up in my inbox. I figured that instead of responding to every email individually, I’d put something together.
Here’s how I started an online business.
To become a successful online entrepreneur you need to follow this 7 step system, and you’ll see how it will grow.
Let’s begin with…
How to Start an Online Business: Finding a Need and Filling it
Yes it’s that easy. If you can find a niche where people are having problems, or asking a ton of questions, then provide them with what they are asking for (a solution).
Don’t make the same mistake I made, finding a product first, then a market. That just doesn’t work. There are hundreds of markets that are un-served right now waiting to give you money. So focus on the market not the product. People give you money, not the product.
Find something people think is cool (e.g iPad, ATV, Video games) and they are passionate about. Most products like to focus on “feeding you fear”. I like to focus on coolness.
I know it’s going to sound simple, but starting an online business or blog is really that simple; find people that already want something and give them what they want.
Good Market Characteristics:
- Passionate like hell
- It has a big community
- You can find them easily online
- They buy a lot
The Way You Find Them:
First, don’t guess. Most new online wanna-be-entrepreneurs, like I was, make this mistake. What you have to do is use data that is proven and test what their behavior is. I do this a ton. Start out with a small budget. You don’t have to spend thousands to test. Begin small!!
Three bonus tips:
- Visit online forums and blogs to see what questions are being asked and what problems they want solved.
- Visit your potential competitors websites and take note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. See how you can be different than them. Maybe offer more for the same price. Do it better.
- Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
There’s this site called Clickbank where you can find what digital products are selling and see how many affiliates are promoting them and other great facts that can help you pick a product that you like and test.
How to Start an Online Business: Have Killer Copywriting
There’s a proven way to make a person from being a non-buyer to a buyer. Let’s call it the selling process. There’s like a 9 step sales process I read in a book somewhere, but that hasn’t worked for me as much as the one that is one third of that. Let’s look at what I am talking about…
This is the easiest way you can sell stuff:
- Here’s what I got
- This is what it will do for you
- And here’s what I want you to do next
I didn’t make this up. I actually learned it from the coolest guy on the Internet. Frank Kern.
He says that you can actually go straight out and tell people, Here’s what I got…
You don’t have to screw around and try using any hypnotic stuff that’s going to supposedly brainwash people into buying your stuff.
The second part
This is what it will do for you…
If what you have is of value, there is no need for tricks. You simply tell them what it will do for them. Hopefully what you sell, will actually do what you are promising it will. Some people think you have to somehow lie in this part. I don’t believe that you should sell something that you wouldn’t use yourself. I know I don’t. So, be honest and tell them what it will do in a simple paragraph.
And last, this is what I want you to do next…
I know that you probably think that this is too easy, but I honestly thought the same things that you’re probably thinking right now.
But I knew that if this guy that has sold millions more than me is doing it then why not do it, right? It’s really important you do this part right. Most people RUIN this part. The majority of products and salespeople always do this part wrong and that’s why it’s so important, because this is what some people call “the close.”
If you’ve ever had the privilege of having a salesman at your house, you can notice how a salesman’s personality starts changing when its time to ask you for the money. Yea…they get afraid.
So now that is your time to be on the side of the salesman; just go for it and tell them…this is what I want you to do next.
As long as you are thinking like the consumer “what is in it for me?” mentality, your copy should be good.
Once you’ve got those two steps done you are GOLDEN, as I like to call it. Because those are the thinking parts, now we get into the creativity, and fun parts of this system.
How to Start an Online Business: Designing a Blog or Website
So we have the product and copy all done, what’s next? Time to come up with a seductive design. I call it seductive because, you have to find a way to convince your visitors to staying in that page. They say that you only have 5 seconds to capture someones attention online. That kind of sucks doesn’t it?
The most important part of the web!
Web Design is 95% Typography
Ninety-five percent of the information on the web is written language. It is only logical to say that a web designer should get good training in the main discipline of shaping written information, in other words: Typography.-information architects
They could not have said it better.
Make sure that the navigation is plain and simple in every single page. Use graphics, video, and audio to enhance your messages. Get ideas from sites like Zappos and Amazon. Those two companies are the prime example of being successful online.
Email, Email, Email Opt-in
Don’t forget this. So many new online entrepreneurs make this mistake of not having an opt-in box when they start their first business. This allows you to send them information. When they sign-up they are telling you they trust you and they want more of your products.
Two clicks should be how much work they should have to do to buy. If it takes them more than that they will get frustrated and find an easier place that makes there lives easier and never come back. We don’t want that.
This is your storefront so make it as friendly to your customers as you can.
How to Start an Online Business: Driving Traffic to your Website or Blog with Qualified Targeted Traffic
If you’re not to familiar with the internet so much. There’s two ways that you can do this. One is paid and the other is free. Let’s talk about PPC first.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
What is Search Engine Pay Per Click Marketing?
Search engine Pay Per Click marketing is when you advertise on different keywords in a search engine and pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN Adcenter are all popular, but Adwords is among the most well known. Now you can even use Facebook Ads; they are becoming very popular due to the high amount of visitors that Facebook gets every month and how targeted you can make your ads.
Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
Now lets look at your other Sources of Traffic
I bring most of the traffic to my blog from organic search engine results. And I talk more about this on my blog post about How to Increase Blog Traffic to my Blog Fast. You might want to read this post and Finding Keywords: How to Find the Right Keyprases Step by Step if you want to save money and you just want to rank organically on the SERPS.
I know by now, if you’re still with me, you must be thinking WOW this is so hard. And it is. But if you have the drive and determination nothing will stop you, but yourself.
Trust me, the reward is bigger than all the work that is put into building your business. It’s the most amazing feeling when you’ve been something yourself.
So moving along, let’s get into the next part.
How to Start an Online Business: Establishing Yourself as The Expert
I believe people go to the Internet for a few reasons. Entertainment, Shop, Network or Socialize, and of course Information. Here’s a rule that I so much believe in. If you provide enough good free information that is useful, when you create a product or recommend something people will trust you and see you as the expert in your field.
Make sure you are distributing the information in all the social sites and article directories.
Send it to your friends and family if it can help them.
Go to these social sites and answer questions. One thing I like to do is stop by some of my niche forums and offer some free advice there that is useful and actionable too. This way you’re not only reaching thousands of readers, you’re doing something even bigger too; you’re getting links back to your site and search engines love relevant sites and you’ll get rewarded.
How to Start an Online Business: The Power of Email Marketing – How to Make Money for the Rest of Your Life
When you build an opt-in list, you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business! I am not kidding. I made the mistake when I first built my site, but like most people I’ve learned from my mistake.
Here’s my “Super Powerful Formula”…Yea right! you’re thinking. No I am just messing with you. It’s another one of those simple steps that I talked about earlier. You don’t have to be Einstein, I am telling you. Here it is:
- Build a list of targeted people
- Sell them things
- Sell them more things
- That’s all no joke
This is what every business pretty much does. There really is no secret. So if you’re looking for the magic, super duper pill, secrets formula, I don’t have it.
Let’s look at some of the fundamentals that you’ll have to apply for it to work:
- Target a market that likes to buy things
- They have to want exactly what you sell
- Be nice to your list and ACTUALLY prove a ton of VALUE or they’ll leave and it won’t work (Always make sure you are providing value to your people)
The best thing about email marketing is that it’s 100 percent super measurable and cheaper than any other type of marketing like radio, print or TV.
If people sign up to your list they are just moments from buying something. You just need to give them what they want.
How to Start an Online Business: Making More Money!
It is said in the online world, and you might know this already from your own experience, that 36 percent of the people that buy from someone will buy again from that same person or company. As long as you follow up with your list, you’ll sell them more stuff.
So how do I follow up?
- Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
- Recommend related products on your “Thank You” page after they purchase.
- Give products that complement their first purchase.
Little Super Secret: Reward your customers for being loyal and they’ll become even more loyal.
I’ve put my heart and soul into this entire post, because I just don’t want to provide you with something that is not going to help you get closer to your goal.
Most people think there’s a secret to starting a blog or a business online. But I am telling you right now…THERE ARE NO SECRETS OR FORMULAS to become successful online. It just takes a ton of hard work. Now I am not saying hard work like boring work. No! I mean hard work that is exciting to do, because you’re doing something that you actually love.
Do you have your own blog or online business already? What did you do different? How can someone new succeed in their beginning steps of entrepreneurship online?